Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B
Minutes of Regular ANC Meeting
June 14, 2005
Adoption of Agenda
There was not a quorum at the Executive Committee Meeting, therefore the Commission will have to vote on the agenda overall. There are several modifications that need to be made to the agenda. First, under Presentation, DCRA will not be attending the meeting tonight to make a presentation. Second, the Text Amendment to Affordable Housing Inclusionary Zoning will not be on this month’s agenda the ANC will consider it at next month’s meeting. We are looking to have someone from Office of Planning to come in and talk with us about this issue. The Chair confirmed that the ANC normally does not meet during the month of July, but will be holding a Special Meeting next month to cover several other topics.
Commissioner Jarboe stated
that at the beginning of the Planning and Zoning Committee and after the
presentation by DDOT he would like to add two (2) items for a vote: The K
Street Calming Study and the proposed
There were no more additions or deletions for the agenda. The Chair asked if there were any objections to adopting the agenda, hearing no objections, the agenda was adopted.
The were no comments.
Community and Commission Announcements
Commissioner Wright announced that the Nanatorium by Eastern Market, which has been closed for the past few weeks, is now open, but the heat will not be turned on until the 20th. She made clear that she was talking about the pool heating system.
A person from the community announced that there will be a public meeting to discuss the Kenilworth Avenue Traffic Study on June 21st and will be held at Young Elementary School, which is located at 820 26th Street, NE at 7:00 p.m. She stressed that it was important that everyone fill out a comment sheet.
Commissioner Jarboe announced that there will be a meeting sponsored by the Hill East Waterfront Action Network tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. at Payne Elementary School with City Administrator Robert Bobb and many other governmental officials to answer questions about the future of Reservation 13. He also mentioned that there were flyers available regarding this meeting.
Mr. Eric Wesley representing
the Center for Child Protection and Family Support of DC made the presentation
on their Mentoring and Supporting Each Youth (MASEY) Program. Mr. Wesley explained that they are located at
The Mentoring program takes place over the weekend and only requires a couple of hours during the weekend. The Tutoring program will take place during the week and will require 1 to 2 hours per week and they are looking for a commitment of a minimum of one year, which will allow them to evaluate the effectiveness of their program over an academic year.
Commissioner Jarboe asked if there were any plans to expand the program to other schools in the area. Mr. Wesley responded that this was a pilot program and they did not want to over extend themselves, so they will concentrate on the current schools first. However, they are looking to expand in the future. He also stated that they will be working primarily with 4th thru 8th graders at this time.
DC Building Industry Association – 13th
Annual Community Improvement Day –
Presenter: Will Teass with Shalom Baranes Associates, Architects and Gary Tvrdik, Sr. V.P. Business Development with HITT Contracting.
Each year the DC Building Industry
Association takes on a volunteer community improvement project and this year
This is a one day event that
will take place on Saturday, September 17th at 8:00 a.m. They anticipate having about 400 to 500
volunteers from around the city to come down and work on the site. They generally have a number of contractors
working on the site prior to the actual improvement day event to help prepare
the site. Mr. Teass presented several
drawings showing how the park will eventually look like a Village Green site
once it is completed. They have worked
very closely with the people in charge of the
Commissioner Thomas asked why ANC 6B was just now being notified of their plans to move the recreation center (building) located on the park, which is the only recreation center in the area. Mr. Teass responded that the existing building is way beyond the years of acceptable safety requirements, and in fact, it is unsafe to be in. He further stated that there is an adhoc program that has been using the space over the years, but it has been to overall intent of DCRA to consolidate several of these locations as part of a larger plan. He was not sure why they had not notified the ANC.
Commissioner Cernich stated that he thought their timing and site selection could not have been better, because it is his understanding that the Department of Public Health and the Office of Property Management had decided that this would be an excellent site to put the Department of Health’s Bio-Safety Lab.
Commissioner Russell asked if the property was owned by the city or by the Federal Government. The response was that the Federal Government owns the property, however it is managed by the city, which means the city is responsible for maintenance.
DDOT – Update on Traffic Studies – John Detrick
Mr. Detrick presented an overview of the various traffic studies that are being conducted at the present time.
The first was the existing
The other option is the
Commissioner Jarboe stated that one of the reasons why the Commission wanted him to come and present was not only to get the Kenilworth Avenue Study, but to get an update on all of the studies. One of his major concerns is how all the various pieces will fit together. He further stated that he has seen four different studies for park road so he wants to know when will the Commission be able to see how it all will come together in the end. In short, what is the plan for the Plan?
Mr. Detrick stated that when they started it was with a small federal grant that Congressman Hoyer secured for them which is the South Capitol Street Study. He further stated that they have been able to patch together funding to study the various areas individually, but they have been using the same person to do the traffic modeling all the way through. They now have underway something called The Anacostia Waterfront Needs Master Plan. This particular piece of work will pull all of the various items together. He pointed out that they are not just doing traffic studies, but they are doing true transportation studies to look at all modes of transportation, environmental studies, urban design plans for Anacostia that is not just for Pennsylvania Avenue and it looks at ever possible detail.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that his major concern is that the Commission is getting everything piecemeal and he wants to know when will they see the final plans and when will they have an opportunity to comment on the plan.
Mr. Detrick stated that there is a separate document being produced under the master plan that will describe all of the things that went into developing the plan and its overall impact on the community.
Commissioner Jarboe asked a series of questions regarding the various traffic studies and expressed his concern as to how the Commissioners and community will be able to determine exactly which study supersedes the other and how public comments can be voiced.
Commissioner Russell asked if
Mr. Detrick had stated that they would be closing some ramps. His comment was that they were not planning
to close any ramps, but they would be adding ramps. He then added that they will be closing the
ramp from the
Commissioner Olson stated
that after looking at the various studies there is a crucial part of Capitol Hill,
Commissioner Jarboe asked
when DDOT anticipates breaking ground on the
Commissioner Jarboe then asked if the Commission will still have to confront all those previously discussed issues while they wait the 5 years for the ramps to open. Mr. Detrick response was yes.
A person from the community asked if when they are conducting their studies do they take into consideration all the construction and related construction truck traffic that is going on the area. Mr. Detrick responded that the Capitol Police are in charge of traffic flow and DDOT has to work with their decisions.
K Street Traffic Calming Study –
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the Chris Delfs with DDOT had sent over a copy of the K Street Traffic Study that the Commission had asked for a number of years ago and it is now completed. The study has three (3) sets of options for the placement of Speed “Humps” or Speed Tables. Speed Humps actually come up to a peak and then go down and Speed Tables come up and is flat for ten (10) feet and then go down. The went through three options about various placements of them on K Street and Potomac Avenue and the final recommendation from the Department of Traffic Services Administration is for the placement of 4 Speed Tables on Potomac Avenue. Two will be on Potomac Avenue where the school and Harris Teeters is and the other two will be the next block down before you made the curve on K Street and then an upgrading of the various signs and crosswalks and things like that on K Street.
What they want from the Commission, since the Commission made the request for the study, is to know if we approve of their recommendations. Commissioner Jarboe went on to say that getting speed humps on Potomac Avenue is the key because the commission will not get the traffic off of the street for 5 years until the 11th Street Interchange is completed and anything that can be done to slow the traffic down, he is all in favor of it.
Christopher (Chris) Delfs with DDOT stated that there was a slight change in their recommendation because they have reviewed the latest plans for Harris Teeters’ and they have determined exactly where some of their parking and loading bays, and where driveways would be and one of the proposed speed tables is right in line with their driveways. The previous propose speed table was just west of I Street and he has cleared the change with traffic services and they propose to move it to slightly east of I Street instead of west. In the end, it is basically the same because it does not change the thrust of the plan.
Commissioner Campbell stated to Chris that he thought the whole purpose of the speed tables was to slow the traffic down before it got to the school and with them moving it will mean that traffic will not have to slow down until they get to the school, which defeats the purpose of getting the speed humps.
Chris replied that there are
a series of humps along
After hearing their explanation Commissioner Campbell stated that he had no problem with the repositioning of the speed humps.
Commission Jarboe then stated that the Commission had requested that the part going into Harris Teeter that DDOT monitor that street given the extra traffic and he wanted assurance that once the speed humps are in place DDOT will monitor to see how effective they are in controlling speed and safety by the school. Chris responsed that DDOT would be doing so. Chris was also asked what amount of speed reduction would be realized by the speed humps. His response was that they estimate the current speed on the street is approximately 36 miles per hour and he is not sure exactly how much it will drop back down, but he think will be down to around 30 miles per hour. However, he will double check and get back with the Commission with a more accurate number.
There were no other questions or comments. Commissioner Jarboe made the motion that the Commission accept the traffic recommendation of the K Street Traffic Calming Study. Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion. The Chair then asked all in favor of accepting the recommendation of the K Street Traffic Calming Study to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0-0).
As a point of clarification, Commissioner Jarboe asked Chris if they would be able to get the humps in before the new school year. Chris stated that he was confident that they would be installed before the next school year.
Commissioner Cernich asked Chris if he would check on the status of the 11th Street Traffic Calming Study. He further stated that the people on 11th Street put together a petition and voted over a year ago to support the 11th Street Traffic Calming Study. Chris asked Commissioner Cernich if he remembered who they were working with and his response was that it was Rachael and it was for 11th Street south of Pennsylvania.
Commissioner Jarboe made the resolution regarding Mass Avenue:
MASS AVENUE BRIDGE RESOLUTION
Given that traffic studies show a Mass Avenue Bridge would dramatically increase traffic on residential streets in neighborhoods on both sides of the Anacostia River;
Given that the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative specifically calls for a park-to-park bridge that doses not connect to local streets;
Given that the Letter of Transfer for Reservation 13 requires Mass Avenue to terminate at the circle or cul-de-sac at the river, which precludes a Mass Avenue bridge;
Therefore, ANC 6B strongly opposes any Mass Avenue-to-Mass Avenue bridge over the Anacostia.
The Resolution was seconded by Commissioner Campbell. The Chair asked all in favor of the resolution offered by Commissioner Jarboe to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0-0).
Commissioner Russell asked Chris Delfs if the speed bumps are also available in the alleys and well as the streets. He responded by saying that typically they are designed for the streets. However, he had heard of one citizen making such a request, but he was not sure of the outcome. He would do a follow-up and get back to her with his findings. Commissioner Russell asked if they could be used for cut-through problems. He responded that they don’t usually use traffic calming measures to solve cut-through problems in alleys.
Planning and Zoning Committee
Commissioner Campbell stated that the Planning and Zoning Committee met on June 7, 2005 and there were a number of cases presented. The first was:
HPRB #05-283 – 924 G. Street, SE, Edward Ertel, Construction two-story rear addition with new curb cut
The applicant in this case did not appear before the Committee because the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) heard the case at its May 2005 meeting. HPRB took this action even though the ANC requested a month’s postponement in order to hear the case. The applicants argued to the Board that they had been before the ANC. They made this argument despite the fact that the ANC had made clear to the applicants that previous ANC meetings concerned only the review of zoning issues and that they would have to come back to the ANC concerning HPRB review.
Historic preservation staff has informed the ANC that the record is being left open for the ANC to make comments. However, we also understand that the Board voted to deny the applicant’s request for a driveway and curb cut. While the outcome is what the ANC likely would have requested had we voted on the issue, the Committee strongly believes that this process is completely unacceptable.
In informal meetings earlier
this year, the Committee was clear with the applicants that there were concerns
over the proposed curb cut. Given that,
this looks like a deliberate attempt by an applicant to circumvent the ANC
knowing that the ANC would likely oppose their request.
Regardless of the applicant’s request, the Committee is very upset that the Board heard in clear violation of HPRB regulations:
§325.3 An affected ANC may
request a deferral of Board review of a case involving matters of significance
to neighborhood planning and development, if the ANC has not received the
requisite notice under the ANC Act (D.C. Official Code § 1-309.10). The ANC
shall make this request by notifying the staff in writing or by electronic
mail, at least 48 hours before the scheduled Board meeting. The request shall
state that the ANC has not had sufficient opportunity to hold a duly noticed
public meeting to consider the application. Upon receipt of a written ANC
request, the staff shall defer the case for a sufficient time to ensure that
the ANC has received notice of forty-five (45) days.
The Committee strong believes that the Chairman of the Board does not have the discretionary powers to waive the ANC’s request. The word "may" applies to the ANC's decision to request a deferral. The word concerning the staff's action is "shall".
The point of the record being
left open after the Board decision highlights a serious concern about the
process. What kind of Board decision is
it if the decision is made and then the Board says the record is still open for
comments from a party that is, under law and regulations, supposed to be given
“great weight”? Either the decision is not really a decision (in which
case, when does the “real” decision happen and when does the ANC get to weigh
in on that decision) or the Board has no intention of giving the ANC great
The Committee therefore recommends that the ANC convey to the HPRB, in the strongest possible terms, its concerns and dismay at the inability of HPRB to lives by its own rules and regulations and its lack of understanding and lack of regard for its legal requirements to give ANC 45 days notice of hearing and to give ANC’ comments “great weight.” This will be follow-up with a letter to HPRB regarding these issues.
Commissioner Olson stated that this is not an uncommon problem. The Commission has been dealing with this type of situation for years and she believes a letter is appropriate, but she does not expect it to make any difference.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the new regulations were supposed to solve this type of problem. He further stated that the new regulations put in place new procedures for ANC to request deferrals and the Commission has done that a number of times. And now they have just decided that they apparently don’t like the new regulations.
The Chair stated that he would like to give, who ever made the decision, the benefit of doubt that they knew what the Commission’s position was on the issue anyway and that is what HPRB ultimately decided to deny the approval. He further added that was beside the point, the Commission was cutout of the process and that’s the issue.
BZA # 17365 1535 A St SE; Kevin R. West, SFD, Lot Variance and Rear Yard Setback for addition to existing structure
Applicant Kevin R. West is seeking a lot variance for a single-family dwelling located at 1535 A St. SE to allow a rear addition to an existing structure. Presently the lot is at 60% occupancy. Applicant wishes to increase the lot occupancy to 74%. The lot is approximately 12ft wide by 55 feet deep. Also the lot to the west of the applicant encroaches on the applicant’s lot narrowing the lot to approximately 22 square feet resulting in a nonconforming lot. The applicant is intending to continue to reside in the home and the new addition will be consistent with adjourning properties on the east and west. Also there is no noted detriment to the public good, no additional traffic or parking will be affected, as applicant does not own an automobile. There are no issues from adjourning property owners regarding light, air or privacy and will not substantially change the character of houses as viewed from either side yard. Therefore the Planning and Zoning Committee recommends the approval of Mr. West’s application for the variance to the full ANC.
Commissioner Campbell asked Mr. West is there was anything else he would like to add. Mr. West stated and presented four (4) letters of support from his neighbors.
It was noted during Commissioner Campbell’s presentation that the information he read regarding Mrs. West’s application was from a draft of the final report. Therefore, Commissioner Jarboe stated for the record that there were two other that should have been in the report. One is that the Committee believes that this application does meet the variance test because of the encroachment (loss) of that 22 sq. ft., which creates an odd shaped lot which is one of the requirements to get a variance. Therefore, the Committee believes it does meet the variance test. The second is that there is an issue with a free standing balcony. There is a balcony that comes off the second floor and it has no support on the ground. It is cantilevered off the house yet the zoning administrator decided that that balcony needed to be covered as part of the lot occupancy calculations. Therefore, this action drives the lot occupancy up over 70%, thus requiring a variance. The Committee does not understand why an open unenclosed freestanding balcony such be counted as part of the lot occupancy. Therefore, the Committee believes it meets the variance requirement.
Because the lot is not a regular shape, the Committee believes that the applicant meets the variance test. The Committee notes that if the lost 10 feet of lot area were counted, the proposed addition would be at 70% lot occupancy and meet the requirements for a special exception rather than a variance.
The Committee also notes that one reason why the lot occupancy request exceeds 70% (the cut off for a special exception rather than a variance) concerns the freestanding rear balcony. Since this balcony is open (not enclosed) and freestanding (not supported from the ground), the Committee does not understand why it should be counted as part of the lot occupancy.
Therefore the Planning and Zoning Committee recommends the approval of Mr. West application for the variance to the full ANC
The Chair stated that this matter is coming before the Commission as a recommendation from the Committee requires no second. The Chair then asked all in favor of adopting the Committee’s recommendation to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0-0).
ZC Case # 02-06, Text Amendment to Neighborhood Commercial Overlay District: Limitation For Eating or Drinking Establishments
Within ANC 6B, this case affects only the 8th Street Overlay area, which is the area between 7th and 9th Streets south of the SE Freeway.
The amendment would provide uniform procedures for determining linear street frontage usage by eating and drinking establishments in the Neighborhood Commercial Overlay Districts. These Overlay Districts require ground floor retail but limit eating and drinking establishments to a percentage of that space. Currently, the 8th Street Overlay limits eating and drinking establishments to 50% (in other overlay districts the limit is 25%).
The Committee takes no position on the technical merits of the proposal and therefore recommends that the full ANC take no position, other than to urge the Zoning Commission to adopt procedures that it believes will provide for better enforcement of the regulations.
However, the Committee is concerned that there is one technical question that should be addressed to the Zoning Commission which is whether the proposed changes apply to the 8th Street Overlay, given the wording of the regulations. The Committee would recommend that the full ANC bring this matter to the attention of the Zoning Commission to ensure that any procedural changes apply to the 8th Street Overlay.
The Zoning Commission is also interested in hearing testimony as to whether this measurement system should be retained or a system of specific designations of matter-of-right uses and special-exception uses be implemented instead. The Committee notes that the City of Alexandria in the Old Towne for example requires any new eating and drinking establishments to receive a special permit (essentially a special exception). The Committee understands the flexibility that comes with the special exception process may, in certain circumstances, be warranted. However, the Committee is also concerned that without strict guidelines for granting or denying a request, the special exception process can becomes politicized or become merely a formality.
The Committee therefore recommends that the full ANC request further hearings on the matter of measurement versus special exceptions while moving ahead to approve the procedural changes.
Commissioner Jarboe made a technical correction in that it should be the City of Alexandria in the Old Towne area instead of the City of Arlington.
Commissioner Cernich inquired if it was correct that the Commission is not sure whether or not the text amendment in its current form would include the 8th Street Overly District?
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the problem is that the text amendment amends the general section of the particular part of the code. The 8th Street Overlay has a specific section within itself that does the same thing that says for the purposes of that general section, do this instead. This is a technical question needing to be asked of the people who drafted the regulations as to whether they think this wording applies to 8th Street as well. Commissioner Jarboe made the recommendation to bring the technical problem (if the Board makes a technical change for enforcement it should include all overlays) to the attention of the Zoning Committee but also urge the Zoning Committee to set aside the issue of measurement versus special exception and hold more hearings on that issue.
The Chair asked all in favor of adopting the Committee recommendations to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0-0).
HPA #05-336, 1114-18 K Street, SE, HPA #05-336, concept/construction of three rowhouses; alterations to two rowhouses
Presenting, Mr. Donald Daye, owner; Wanda Sherwood, Construction Manager, Jeff Goins, Architect
This is a presentation of a conceptual construction project of new rowhouses located on three lots 1114 through1118, and two exiting rowhouses 1120 & 1122 K St. SE. The spaces 1114 –1118 are presently vacant with a 50ft frontage. The three new constructions will be three stories with English basements with separate entrances, first floor with 18ft ceilings and there is a mezzanine between the first and second floors. The two existing houses will have an additional landing built with an approximate 6 – 8 ft setback which will not be visible from K St.
The owner has a tentative hearing set for the BZA in September of 2005 and expects to present to ANC 6B possibly in September 2005. At present the parties are presenting to the P&Z Committee concept drawings of the proposed development an as such the P&Z Committee is recommending approval of these conceptual drawings to the full ANC.
Commissioner Russell asked if construction in the rear can be seen from the street on the Potomac Deli side. Commissioner Jarboe stated that there is a slight area in the back if you’re over by the Potomac Deli that you can potentially see a little something, but the back of the additions will not be seen because of the taller building behind them.
Mr. Daye stated that he has filed an application with BZA. The Chair informed Mr. Daye that we are only dealing with the HPRB issue now and he will need to return when it is time to consider his BZA application.
Commissioner Cernich asked if the two existing structures were occupied. Mr. Daye stated that they were not. The last time they were occupied was January of 2005. Commissioner Cernich recommended that Mr. Daye let the neighbors in the surrounding block and on 12th Street know what his plans are. Mr. Daye responded that he had done so and had with him signatures from eleven (11) neighbors supporting his project, which he showed the commissioners.
Commissioner Thomas asked who were the neighbors he spoke with most. Mr. Daye stated that he went to neighbors most directly affected first, then to others, including those with rear yards on 12th Street.
Commissioner Cernich asked if there would be an alley and would parking be available. His response was yes.
Commissioner Campbell asked if there would be off street parking for each unit. Mr. Daye stated that they are building off street parking and the civil engineers are working on that, but as it stand now they will have five (5) off street parking spaces. Commissioner Cernich asked if that meant each unit will have one parking space and Mr. Daye responded that he was not totally sure how they will be distributed, but will have the details when he return in September.
The Chair stated that this matter is coming before the Commission as a recommendation from the Committee and requires no second. The Chair then asked all in favor of adopting the Committee’s recommendation to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0-0).
Zacks – Transfer of Liquor License – Information Presentation
Mark Menard the new owner Zacks located at 613 Pennsylvania Avenue appeared before the Commission to informally present what his plans were for the business. He is simply transferring the liquor license with no substantial changes to be made. He anticipate opening on July 1, 2005. The name will be changed to 18th Amendment. Instead of the current 5 pool tables there will only be 4. It establishment will feature 1920, 1930 Al Capone/New York/Chicago style decorations.
Commissioner Jarboe asked if he was planning on making the basement area into a separate nightclub. Mr. Menard response was that they would not be doing that.
Commissioner Wright asked if he had any plans for an outdoor patio. He responded that he did for a patio in the future, however there is work that he needs to complete before considering that. Additionally, they may not have enough space for one.
Commissioner Jarboe stated for the record that he did not know if the Commission has a Voluntary Agreement with Zacks. He asked Mr. Menard if he was aware that any Voluntary Agreement that was on that license would convey. Mr. Menard responded “absolutely”.
Commissioner Campbell asked if there was not a Voluntary Agreement, was he will to sign one. The response was that he would.
Committee reports and announcements
Commissioner Thomas announced that she is in the process of forming a non-profit organization for Ward 6, which will be called the Neighbor Investment Counseling Service and would like to have the support of her fellow Commissioners.
The Chair informed the Commissioner and community that in an effort to keep everyone updated on upcoming meetings, the meeting agenda is posted each month on the front door of 921 Pennsylvania Avenue (Old Naval Hospital), the Library, and inside Eastern Market. The Commission will also include, in a file at the library, various documents related to the various matters that will come before the Commission for the community’s review.
He also announced that the Commission is still in the process of getting the website up and running. He has asked the Voice of the Hill if they would permit the Commission to post the agenda on the first page of their website and that he is awaiting a response.
There was no further business and Commissioner Hill made the motion that the meeting be adjourned until a Special Call Meeting in July 12, 2005. The motion was seconded, and the vote was 8 to 0.
Prepared by Bert Randolph